Friday, August 30, 2013

Congratulations Scotti!

Congratulations go to Scotti Fritts, one of our award winning authors. She won second place in the Write to Inspire poetry contest and is the editor for contributions to Inspire's new book of poems. Scotti also took second place in the Dancing Poetry Festival sponsored by the Artists Embassy International. She will read her poem with the reading voice of an angel at the event on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Scotti has been published in Fuller Focus and Songs from the Heart.

Read one of Scotti's poems and you'll know why she takes the awards.


Rounding the corner, Pastor’s
Car was parked out front.
Knowing what had happened,
I felt sick to my stomach.

Even though we expected it,
I didn’t expect it today.
After all,
We’d been nursing Susie’s
Leukemia for so long.

Once inside the house there
Wasn’t time for me.
Mother was a basket case
And dad was trying to comfort
Her, and Pastor was trying to
Comfort both of them.

So I went hunting for Joe my
Big sixteen pound cat.
I found him in his favorite
Spot lying in the sun on
The back porch.

Gathering him up his
Front paws hung over my
One arm and the back ones
Hung over my other arm, I
 hugged him close to me.

Dropping down on my bed,
I clung to him and drenched
Him for hours.
He never moved.
He just kept licking my
Face, and when I was done
He licked himself dry.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Congratulations Darleen!

Congratulations to Darleen Gossett who took first place in the poetry contest at the Write to Inspire conference, July 19-20, 2013, an Inspire Christian Writers event. Darleen has been published in devotional magazines, Highlights for Children and Friends of Inspire Faith. The title of her winning poem is "Elohim."


The glowing sun sets in the mountains
behind a shadowy backdrop
of graceful firs and majestic pines.

A bright yellow and black caterpillar
inches along a milkweed stem
and begins an astonishing journey.

A robin proclaims Spring with cheerful note
early in the morning--and tugs
on an unsuspecting earthworm.

A velvety rose, deep-red, delicate
grows beside a garden pathway,
perfumed elegance for blissful lovers.

A newborn baby sleeps--sheltered
in his mother's arms, breathing sweet
warmth against her comforting body.

I look around and my heart cries out,
"Who is the author of such breathtaking
beauty and magnificent design?"

His name is Elohim--

He is God, the Almighty

Creator of all things.

Darleen Gossett

Way to go, Darleen! Stay tuned to learn about more winners at the Write to Inspire writing contest.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Four Steps to Reduce Rejection

Would you like to reduce the number of rejection letters that arrive in you mailbox? Would you like to receive more acceptance letters for manuscripts you spend hours researching, writing, editing, and rewriting? It's possible.

First of all, understand that a rejection letter is not personal. It may not even mean your writing is bad.
Thank you for taking the time to write and submit your story. However, it does not meet our current editorial needs.
This statement often means exactly what it says. Here are ways you can avoid it.

  • Resist the urge to write what you want first. Find out what publishers need and submit accordingly.
  • Do your homework. If you want to write a book, study the market guide and see what publishers accept the genre and themes you like to write. Review the publisher's catalog to see how you could submit something that fits but is little different. Consider using some of your chapters as articles in magazines to build your platform.
  • If you are writing articles, read the market guide for your genre. What magazines are looking for things that interest you? What can you contribute? By all means, if the magazine has a theme, write within the theme and within the word count. Follow the writer guidelines. 
  • The more frequent the publication, the greater the need for articles. Sunday school magazines need articles 52 time a year. Most have at least 8 articles. 
  • Use the proper submission format. Find samples in the front of the Writers Market, published by Writer's Digest. You'll also find copies of query and cover letters. 
Even if we follow all the guidelines, we will still receive rejection letters. Remember it's not a personal thing. It just means your story didn't fit the publisher's needs. Maybe it's not the right slant. Maybe it's not good enough. Maybe the magazine published something similar to your submission last month. Put yourself in the editor's position, and learn as much as you can.

Freelance writing is a business. Show yourself and your craft as professional as possible. Fulfilling publisher needs, doing research and meeting deadlines are all satisfying and profitable. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good Writers are Great Readers

Writers read, read, read and read some more.  Although I have a library on my Kindle and another on my iPhone, I still purchase books. Amazon is my favorite place to shop.

A long time ago I ran out of shelf space, and many of my books are in boxes or in stacks in my office, bedroom, living room and family room. I read a lot. Time doesn't permit me to read all the books on my list, so I started downloading audible books to my iPhone and I listen while I walk two miles in the morning. Sometimes at the end of the two miles, the action is moving along so well, I'm tempted to walk further or run to my office and keep on listening when I should be writing. Why do I read? Let me count the ways.
  • For pleasure (my favorite)
  • For research (second favorite)
  • For inspiration (Sometimes I'm inspired to write an article or story from something I read.)
  • To learn (lots of books about writing)
  • To study (to hone my craft)
  • To keep up with my blogging/writing friends
  • To keep up with the markets.
Write without reading? Are you kidding me? For me that would be disaster. I've learned that my writing improves whether I read for pleasure, research, inspiration or education. It's a life-long process.
What book(s) are you reading? What genre is your favorite? My inquiring mind would love to know.